I hope everyone had a happy and safe Independence Day in the USA yesterday! This week is all about exercise with Dr. Frank – along with his greatest piece of advice for people trying to lose weight! This is the final portion of the interview, so let’s jump right in!
Jeanette: Switching over to exercise – when we worked together, you said only focus on your diet for a month, and after that we can start working on exercise. We primarily did weight training. Why did you wait on incorporating exercise?
Dr. Frank: It completely depends on the person. For a majority of people who aren’t familiar with exercise and this is their first REAL time at changing their dietary approach and an exercise routine – maybe they work out here and there, maybe they’ve tried dieting and haven’t stuck with it – for that person, saying let’s do exercise AND dietary stuff, it ends up being too much at once for a person. They start to focus more on the exercise, and I’ll ask them what they had to eat that day and they’ll say “well I don’t know but I was at the gym for 45 minutes and I did the treadmill and I did weights for another 30 minutes, then I went to a yoga class.” They won’t lose any weight that whole month and I’ll know right away that they’re focusing on the exercise and they’re not doing anything with the diet. Without the diet, you’ll build muscle, but it’s not going to do anything for your weight loss. So I think sometimes, depending on the person, when you incorporate them both at once, it’s too overwhelming for a person. It’s easier to say “let’s start with nutrition,” then once we are positive that a person understands the nutrition, then we will start to incorporate the exercise. But if someone has been exercising for a long time and they just need a boost in the right direction, then we will have them continue doing their normal exercise routine and we can just focus on the nutrition. It all just depends on who we are working with. Same thing with supplements, I don’t incorporate supplements until WAY further down the line, if at all, because otherwise people just exercise and take supplements and eating terrible.
J: And why do you think weight training specifically was the best exercise option?
F: When it comes to weight training, I think it’s the best form of exercise. When it comes to people who are injured, it’s very easy to work around those injuries in weight training. There are so many different variations of an exercise, and so many different ways to build muscle. Weight training builds muscle, the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. Muscles use glucose in order to maintain itself, so the best way to build that muscle is through strength training. You being female, the risk of osteoporosis increases as you get older, and this is an excellent way to preserve bone density. And just as far as looking at the basic motions that we all have to maintain throughout life – the ability to sit, stand, squat, lunge, push, pull, twist or rotate – strength training will always allow for us to practice and reinforce those movements. One day, we are all going to get older, and there’s going to come a point where people realize “oh my gosh I haven’t been squatting ever, I haven’t trained muscles ever in my legs.” Then those people will hit an age where they will be unable to stand up – not because they were injured – because they never trained themselves with those basic motions over and over again. If you don’t use it, you will lose it – so weight training is good.
J: What are some of your favorite exercises besides weight training that you might recommend?
F: I like yoga, palates, barre classes – I like all of that stuff, and there are other benefits to those as well. Look at yoga – there are benefits with deep breathing, meditation, lowering cortisol levels and balancing out the body. It’s still not strength training, it’s still not weight loss. I wouldn’t say to do yoga for weight loss, I would say to do it for the flexibility benefits. It’s nice to have a balance between exercises. When you life weights, things tend to tighten up, so it’s nice to go to a palates or yoga class to stretch to offset that tightness.
J: What is your greatest piece of advice for someone who wants to start eating right?
F: It’s really easy – YOU HAVE TO GET HELP. You pay someone to do your taxes, you pay someone to cut your hair. Nutrition is no different. If someone doesn’t have accountability for their nutrition, they’re bound to backtrack. There are too many things in life that will throw off what you’re eating. So, my biggest piece of advice is to get help from someone who knows what they’re doing. There are a lot of people out there – some who know what they’re doing and that’s great! But some have no idea what they’re doing. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there, and everyone is different, but you should get qualified help from someone who knows what they’re talking about, and stick to a plan with them for a duration of time. It’s not going to happen overnight – six months, a year, two years – not 3 or 4 weeks, because at that point you haven’t developed a nutritional pattern. So get help!
After working with Dr. Frank for 4 months, not only did I develop and maintain my nutritional habits, but I changed those for the people around me as well. My dad, Type II diabetic, lost about 10 pounds, lowered his A1C, and is so close to coming off medication because of this. My beloved boyfriend who won’t touch vegetables is now asking me why there aren’t more on his plate!
Like I have said in the past, if you’re going to go on this journey, you have to do it for yourself and no one else. Get the help and invest in your well-being. Not only is it going to change your life, it will ultimately save your life.
Special thanks to Dr. Frank for taking the time to sit down with me and answer my questions about health and fitness. If you are interested in working with him or getting more advice, please comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!